Posted: Fri 5th Jun 2020
The Scottish government has extended coronavirus grants for business properties to businesses in shared office spaces.
Guidance sent to local authorities says the amendment to the scheme applies from 8 June. We've summarised the guidance below:
Extension of the Small Business Grant Fund
The new funding is an extension of the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) which supports businesses paying business rates or eligible for business rates reliefs.
The new grants are targeted at the tenants and/or occupiers of non-domestic properties such as shared office spaces, incubators and industrial units that are not the ratepayer but can show they are required to contribute towards the charges associated with the non-domestic rates liability via the ratepayer for that property.
The guidance says it recognises the guidance may not cover all businesses suitable for supports adding that local authorities have "discretion...to utilise local knowledge to determine any cases which accord with the overall objectives of the scheme, if not the letter".
Eligible businesses will receive a single grant of £10,000 which will be administered by local authorities in Scotland.
Small businesses not directly liable for non-domestic rates on the property they occupy must meet the following criteria:
The occupied property was on the valuation roll and liable for non-domestic rates as at 17 March, irrespective of any relief.
The property type is not included in table 2 listing excluded property types here.
The tenant/occupier is legally and wholly distinct from the landlord or other party with whom they have a lease/rental agreement; there must be no common ownership, directorship or other shared corporate relationship which suggests the landlord stands to gain directly from the endowment of a grant to the tenant/occupier.
The tenant/occupier is not in receipt of any other UK or Scottish government grant support including:
- RHL Grant Fund (RHLGF)
- Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund
- Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund
- Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund
- Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- Third Sector Resilience Fund
Businesses that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not excluded from applying for a grant.
A tenant/occupier applying for support must also meet the following criteria and supply appropriate documentation:
Lease or rental agreement
Signed on or prior to 17 March 2020 and valid for occupation on that date.
If the local authority cannot verify that the landlord is liable for rates on the property using its own records, they may request documentation proving this, or showing that the tenant/occupier as explicitly or contractually liable for charges associated with non-domestic rates for the property.
Proof that the legal person applying for the grant had at least one paid employee on the payroll (not including themselves) as at 17 March.
Evidence can include a payroll records from February-March 2020, HMRC PAYE registration and reports for February-March 2020 or prior and/or successful application to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Company and trading
Proof that the business is an appropriately registered and trading company or partnership. For individual entities this should include trading name, registered name & Companies House reference number. For partnerships this should include a copy of the partnership agreement or a document indicating partnership from the company solicitor.
Additional supporting documents indicative of trade may also be requested by a local authority should it require further evidence.
Business bank account
Proof that the business or organisation operates a business bank account. No payments will be made to personal accounts.
Proof of business transactions through that account for the period including 17 March 2020.
The statement should where possible support other elements of authentication as outlined above including details of wage payments and rent.